MSc in Sustainability

Overview
Requirements
Applications
Scholarships
FAQ
Contact
  • STARTING DATE:
    2014•09•01
    APPLICATIONS DUE:
    2014•02•28

    The Master of Science in Sustainability programme equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to solving challenges of sustainability in the context of global change, with specific focus in the areas of climate change and biodiversity. Drawing on an innovative, interdisciplinary approach, the programme integrates methods and resources from the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities.

    The programme builds on UNU’s strong record in research and capacity development, as well as the extensive network of scholars and academic institutions participating in UNU research. The programme is practically oriented, user-focused, and of the highest academic quality. It is intended for recent graduates, professionals and practitioners interested in the unique opportunity to study at a global university and gain valuable skills, which will enable them as international professionals to meaningfully contribute to the work of governments, civil society, the private sector, and the UN and other international organizations.

    Students are required to earn more than 30 credits for the master’s degree, and can take courses from UNU-IAS and partner universities in Japan. Students are also encouraged to take a joint diploma offered by the UNU-IAS and The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (UT-GSFS) on Resilience for Sustainability. The diploma requires students to gain 34 credits, eight of which should be from a pool of courses designated by UNU-IAS and UT-GSFS under the joint diploma programme. A joint diploma can only be awarded to students who successfully complete the two-year master’s degree programme.

    The standard period of study is two years; the programme starts in September, with students expected to complete all the requirements by July in the second academic year after enrollment.

    Application deadline: 28 February 2014

    Course Information

    For information on the specific courses offered as part of this degree programme, please visit the the curriculum information page on the UNU-IAS online learning website.

    Faculty

    The programme is taught by an expert teaching faculty comprising both UNU-IAS academic staff and invited distinguished scholars and practitioners.

    Learning Environment and Facilities

    Sharing a building with many UN agencies, UNU-IAS offers a unique learning environment for its diverse international student body.

    The UNU Library offers access to a range of academic books, over 10,000 electronic journals, World Bank and OECD publications, and official UN documents issued since 1946. All students are provided with a comprehensive library orientation session at the beginning of the course.

    A dedicated computer lab is provided for students, with software to cater to the needs of each course, including GIS, environmental modelling applications, and statistical analysis tools. In addition, students have access to a number of international conferences, workshops, and symposiums at the university.

    Diversity

    UNU-IAS provides an international environment, with faculty, staff and students of over 40 different nationalities. The MSc programme includes courses featuring more than 15 international guest lecturers from leading agencies and institutions, providing students with opportunities to learn from their unique expertise and experience.

    Student Support Services

    UNU-IAS assists students from the time of their registration to graduation, acknowledging that students may experience difficulties adjusting to a new country and culture.

    An induction programme is conducted at the beginning of the academic session, introducing students to the staff responsible for specific student services, and familiarizing students with the campus through a tour of the facilities.

    Housing

    Students are provided with a handbook about living in Tokyo prior to their arrival, including information on how to find and secure accommodation.

    Academic Calendar

    The Academic Calendar shows important dates and university holidays for the academic year.

  • UNU-IAS welcomes applicants with:

    • a keen interest in the pressing global issues on the UN agenda and in particular those of sustainability;
    • an aspiration to pursue careers in international fields in public service or private organizations, including the United Nations, multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations as well as research and academic institutions;
    • the intention to proactively apply academic research findings to policymaking; and
    • a strong desire to contribute to the solving of problems concerning global environment, through an interdisciplinary approach.

    Admissions Requirements

    Applicants for the Master of Science in Sustainability, Development, and Peace are required to have met the following requirements by the application deadline in order to be considered:

    • A strong interest in sustainability studies.
    • Demonstrated commitment to study and understand global issues.
    • A completed bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized university or institution of higher education in (i) global change and sustainability or in (ii) environmental governance with a specialization in biodiversity. Those who expect to graduate and have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent conferred before September 2014 may also apply.
    • A GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale on the bachelor’s degree earned.
    • English language proficiency. Please see the section below for more details.

    English Language Requirements

    The minimum score requirements for English language qualifications required by UNU-IAS are:

    • 600 in TOEFL – Paper-Based Testing (PBT)
    • 100 in TOEFL – Internet-Based Testing (IBT)
    • 7.0 in IELTS – Academic format

    Applicants, except for the cases below, must submit original TOEFL or IELTS score reports (from a test taken within the last two years) to Admissions Office at the time of application:

    • Applicants whose first language is English.
    • Applicants who graduated from a university or a postgraduate school located in an English speaking country.(IBT)
    • Applicants who completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme where the language of instruction and examination was English. In this case, an official statement from the academic institution will be required, confirming the use of English as the language of instruction and examination.

    UNU-IAS requires original TOEFL/IELTS score reports (no photocopies accepted).

    • TOEFL: Please order an official score report using an institution code 6991. For more information on TOEFL, please visit http://www.ets.org/toefl/
    • IELTS: Please request that an official report be sent directly to UNU-IAS. For more information on IELTS, please visit http://www.ielts.org/

    Fees

    Application Processing Fee: None
    Tuition Fee: 10,000 USD per year

    Estimated total expenses for the master’s degree programme for 2 years including tuition are approximately 5,700,000 JPY or 56,000 USD. Applicants must show financial resources adequate to meet the full costs of educational and living expenses.

  • Your official application must be submitted through the online application form. You will need to create a user account to submit your applications. The online form can be saved and returned to at any time before submitting.

    Selection and Announcement of Results

    UNU-IAS may at any time require applicants to provide verification of the information and documents submitted as part of their application and/or additional information including, but not limited to, an interview.

    • The successful applicants will be notified by email to the address provided on Application Form. Necessary documents for the admission procedure will be sent together with a letter of acceptance.
      Successful applicants must submit a medical certificate. Only successful applicants – except those accepted as JFUNU scholarship recipients – who submit the necessary documents for the entrance procedure and transfer 50% of the tuition fees for the first academic year (5,000 USD, non-refundable) within 10 UNU working days after result announcement will be admitted to the programme. (Please refer to UNU Holidays on Academic Calendar page) The matriculation date (early September 2014) cannot be extended, regardless of any special circumstances on the part of the student.
    • The unsuccessful applicants will be notified by e-mail to the address provided on Application Form. Admissions Office does not provide individual feedback on unsuccessful applications.
    • E-mail will be the primary method of contact. Therefore, it is essential that applicants provide a valid e-mail address in the Application Form and that he/she regularly checks his/her e-mail. Please ensure that our e-mails are not filtered into spam or junk folder. UNU-IAS will not be held responsible for unread e-mail communication.

    Please do not call the Admissions Office regarding application status or admission decisions as we will not release them by phone.

    Important Notes

    • All application forms must be typed and filled in English. No handwritten or incomplete application documents will be considered.
    • All materials and documents submitted as part of an application become the property of UNU-IAS and cannot be returned.
    • If any falsification is discovered in any of the documents presented for application, admission will be revoked.
    • Unsuccessful applicants of previous years who reapply for admission must submit a completely new set of application documents, including letters of reference. No previous application materials will act as supporting resource.

    Withdrawing an Application

    Those who wish to withdraw from the application process should contact the Admissions Office through the online inquiry form. When submitting the form, please ensure that “MSc Degree” is selected as the topic of your inquiry, and please use the same email address you used when submitting your application.

  • JFUNU

    The Japan Foundation for UNU (JFUNU) Scholarship is available for outstanding applicants from developing countries* who can demonstrate a need for financial assistance, and they will be considered as candidates for the award of the scholarship.

    *The developing countries listed in the latest OECD DAC list.

    The JFUNU scholarship covers the full tuition fees, and provides a monthly allowance of 150,000 JPY* for living expenses for a maximum of 24 months. Travel costs to and from Japan, visa handling fees, and health/accident insurance costs must be covered by the student.

    *150,000 JPY is the average monthly living cost for an international student without dependents in Tokyo, although this amount may vary depending on the lifestyle of the student.

    Please note that applicants who want to pursue a second master’s degree at UNU-IAS is not eligible for the scholarship.

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    General

    • What is the status of the master’s programme at UNU-IAS?
      UNU-IAS is an international academic institution chartered by the United Nations to grant postgraduate degrees. The master’s programme at UNU-IAS is officially recognised as a foreign institution of higher education by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT). That is, credits earned at UNU-IAS are recognised by Japanese universities, and graduates of the programme are entitled to apply for PhD programmes in Japan.
    • How long is the master's programme? When does it start?
      The standard period of study for the UNU-IAS master’s programme is two years. Students are expected to complete all course work and thesis on site over a two-year period. The programme starts in September each year, with students expected to complete all the requirements by July in the second academic year after enrolment.
    • Do you allow students to attend part-time? Do you offer online courses?
      The programme is offered on a full-time basis only. Students need to reside in Tokyo for the full duration of the programme to attend lectures and seminars. UNU-IAS does not offer online degree programmes at this time.
    • Can I visit UNU-IAS prior to applying? Do you have an open campus day?
      Unfortunately, we are not able to hold any information sessions or campus tours at this time.
    • Does UNU-IAS also offer a PhD programme?
      UNU-IAS established a PhD programme in 2012. Please refer to the PhD programme pages for further details.

    Fees and Expenses

    • Are there other fees besides the 10,000 USD annual tuition?
      No processing fee is required for application.
    • Do you have a payment plan for tuition or do I need to submit a full payment?
      50% of the tuition for the first academic year (5,000 USD, non-refundable) is due within 10 UNU working days after the notification of admissions decision. The rest (5,000 USD) is due before the start of the Autumn Semester. For the second academic year, a full tuition (10,000 USD) is due before the start of the Autumn Semester.
    • Can I pay for tuition with a credit card?
      No. We do not accept credit card payments. Currently, the only method of payment accepted is wire transfer. Details will be provided in the acceptance letter to admitted students.
    • The website says that the tuition is 10,000 USD per year, but that I need to have 56,000 USD for two years. Can you explain?
      The annual tuition is 10,000 USD. In addition to this fee, we anticipate that it will cost you approximately 27,719* USD per year to live in Tokyo. Therefore, the total estimated cost is 75,438 USD for the two-year programme. Below we provide an estimate of average costs for monthly housing and living expenses for students in Tokyo: Rent (central Tokyo): 80,000 JPY, 778 USD Utilities (gas, electricity, water): 8,000 JPY, 78 USD Compulsory National Health Insurance: 3,000 JPY, 30 USD Communication (mobile, internet connection): 10,000 JPY, 98 USD Food: 32,000 JPY, 331 USD Transportation: 10,000 JPY, 98 USD Books: 9,000 JPY, 87 USD Monthly total: 152,000 JPY / 1,480 USD

    Scholarships and Funding

    • Does UNU-IAS offer financial assistance for students?
      The Japan Foundation for UNU (JFUNU) Scholarship is available for outstanding applicants from developing countries who can demonstrate a need for financial assistance, and they will be considered as candidates for the award of the scholarship. The JFUNU scholarship covers the full tuition fees, and provides a monthly allowance of 150,000 yen* for living expenses for a maximum of 24 months. Travel costs to and from Japan, visa handling fees, and health/accident insurance costs must be covered by the student. Please note that the JFUNU scholarship is highly competitive and offered to a very small number of students who are granted admission to UNU-IAS. Thus, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for other funding opportunities from the government of their own country, private foundations, or international funding agencies. *150,000 yen is the average monthly living cost for an international student without dependents in Tokyo, although this amount may vary depending on the lifestyle of the student.
    • How can I apply for a UNU-IAS scholarship (i.e. JFUNU scholarship)?
      During admission selection process, outstanding applicants from developing countries with financial need will be automatically considered as candidates for the award of the JFUNU scholarship. Thus, no separate application is necessary.
    • What is the FAFSA school code for UNU-IAS?
      UNU-IAS does not hold a code for the U.S. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) system. Citizens from the United States are encouraged to find other funding sources.
    • Can you provide me with a list of organisations that offer scholarship funding for postgraduate students?
      We currently do not have a list of scholarships available as we receive students from around the world and each country has its own systems for awarding scholarships. We would recommend that you consult with your home university as they may have information on various scholarship opportunities available for graduate students.

    Entry Requirements

    Online Application

    Admissions Decisions

    • Can you tell me the status of my application?
      No. The Admissions Office does not reply to the inquiries regarding the application status or admission decision by email or phone during the review period of applications (6 to 8 weeks after the application deadline).
    • I want to withdraw my application. What should I do?
      We must receive written notification from you that you would like your application to be withdrawn by email addressed to the Admissions Office () indicating “MSc Application Withdrawal” in the subject line. Please use the same email address you provided on your Application Form.
    • How are admission decisions made? What are the criteria?
      Admission decisions are based on institutional review, using a combination of factors, including academic degrees and records, essays, research plan, letters of reference, and relevant work experience (if any). UNU-ISP also considers the appropriateness of your goals to the degree programme and to the research interests of the programme's faculty.
    • Why was I rejected?
      Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual feedback on unsuccessful applications.
    • Can I reapply?
      Yes. You can reapply for the programme for the next academic year. Resubmission requires a completely new set of application documents, including letters of reference. No previous application materials will act as supporting resource.
    • Can I defer my offer?
      No. Acceptance is valid only for the academic year that you applied for, and applicants have to re-apply.

    Living in Tokyo

    • How much will it cost me to live in Tokyo?
      The annual tuition is 10,000 USD. In addition to this fee, we anticipate that it will cost you approximately 18,000 USD per year to live in Tokyo. Therefore, the total estimated cost is 56,000 USD for the two-year programme. Below we provide an estimate of average costs for monthly housing and living expenses for students in Tokyo: Rent (central Tokyo): 80,000 JPY, 778 USD Utilities (gas, electricity, water): 8,000 JPY, 78 USD Compulsory National Health Insurance: 3,000 JPY, 30 USD Communication (mobile, internet connection): 10,000 JPY, 98 USD Food: 32,000 JPY, 331 USD Transportation: 10,000 JPY, 98 USD Books: 9,000 JPY, 87 USD Monthly total: 152,000 JPY / 1,480 USD
    • Can you help me find housing in Tokyo?
      There are no UNU housing facilities available. Admitted students are provided with a handbook which provides information and advice on finding housing in Tokyo. Students are expected to secure their own housing for this programme.
    • How do I apply for a Japanese visa?
      Upon acceptance into the programme, we will provide you with all the necessary information and documentation for obtaining a Japanese student visa.

    After UNU-IAS

  • Before contacting us, please read through the FAQ page as your question may already be answered there.

    If your question is not covered in the FAQ, please contact us using the online inquiry form. Please ensure that “MSc Degree” is selected as the topic of your inquiry. If you have already submitted an application to us, please use the same email address on the inquiry form.

    United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
    Admissions Office
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan

    T: +81 (0)3 5467-1212